The Celtics pulled off a thrilling, 122-119 win in overtime against the Orlando Magic Sunday night, but the last few plays of regulation are what deserve the most recognition.
Boston was trailing 112-107 with 38 seconds remaining when Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis all joined forces to save the game.
At the 40-second mark, Jaylen Brown missed a 3-pointer at the 40-second mark, but Walker, being the tenacious 6-foot point guard that he is, came flying in for an offensive rebound, which he batted straight out beyond the arc to Tatum for a wide open 3-pointer that brought the Celtics within two.
D.J. Augustin tried to double Orlando's lead on the next possession, but Daniel Theis swatted his lay-up attempt back to Tatum, who dribbled up-court looking for the tie.
With 4.2 seconds remaining, and the ice still frozen in his veins from his previous shot, Tatum shook off defender Markelle Fultz for a turnaround mid-range jumper which tied the game up at 112 apiece.
Orlando still had a chance to win on its next possession, but Tatum wouldn't let that happen as he blocked Terrence Ross' 3-point attempt just ahead of the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Boston did not gain a lead until nearly three minutes into the extra period, but once they went up 116-114, they never trailed again. The eventual three-point victory never would have been possible if it weren't for the clutch plays made by Walker, Tatum, Theis to save the game in regulation.
Gordon Hayward has played great basketball inside the NBA bubble, and Sunday night's performance against Orlando was his best yet.
Boston's All-Star wing logged his second 30-point effort of the season, as he put up 31 in the scoring column while shooting 12-of-18 from the field, 2-of-5 from long range, and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
It was one of Hayward's most aggressive offensive efforts of the season, as he continually put pressure on Orlando's defense by driving to the basket. "I just tried to go out and attack a little more," he said after the game. "I think that our team is at its best when I'm attacking."
Hayward also helped his teammates to attack, as he dished out five assists. He rounded out his 40 minutes of action with nine rebounds and a blocked shot on the defensive end.
Box Score Nuggets
- Gordon Hayward logged his second 30-point game of the season, as he tallied 31 in the scoring column.
- Jayson Tatum notched nine of his 29 points during the final minute of regulation and overtime.
- Jaylen Brown led the game in rebounds with 12, while also pouring in 19 points.
- Both teams attempted 102 field goals.
- Both teams also loggeed 17 second-chance points.
- Markelle Fultz dished out a game-high 10 assists.
- Boston had an edge on the glass where it out-rebounded Orlando 54-52.
- Enes Kanter corralled eight boards (four on each end) during eight minutes of action.
- Daniel Theis tallied three blocks, which was just one fewer than Orlando swatted as a team.
- Marcus Smart led the game with three steals. He also led the Celtics in assists with nine.
- Neither team ever led by double-digits.
Quote of the Night
When he’s attacking, we’re better because he just makes a lot of great reads with the ball.
Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward